# Store Clerks "DUMBER THAN HELL"

On 12/20/2015 2:36 PM, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moc wrote:
<snip> > With that accomplished, he enters the price into the computer, and asks

When I was 16 I worked at McDonald's. When they found out that I knew how to figure out sales tax and make change (no computerized cash registers then), I was always put up front to take orders.
When I was 17 I worked at a department store. We had to take a math test to get the job.
Many years later I was at K Mart, and was talking to the cashier, telling her that I was going to Long's (a drug store chain later purchased by CVS) and she said "oh, it's my dream to work at Long's." I said "so why don't you apply there?" She said "I did, but I could not pass their math test." Aha! Long's always had very competent cashiers, but apparently that went away when they were bought out by CVS.
One day I was at CVS and they had 40% off all remaining summer merchandise. I bought something marked at \$10. They had not programmed the new price into the system so the cashiers had to take 40% off.
The cashier took out a little pad of paper. She wrote \$10 on it. Then she took out a calculator and multiplied 10 by 0.4. She wrote down 4 on the pad. Then she did 10-4=6. I told her to just multiply by 0.6, but she helpfully informed me that it was 40% off, not 60% off. I really wanted to come back the next week when everything was 50% off to see if she went through the same procedure.
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On 12/21/2015 5:52 AM, sms wrote:

I went to HD to purchase some plywood. Wanted to have it ripped into 10" wide strips. Kid came to the saw -- cuz customers aren't capable of operating a saw that is *bound* to a table/rig! :-/
Told him what I wanted. He pulled out his tape rule and asked me to show him 10 inches... Alarmed, I took it upon myself to mark the plywood -- allowing 1/8" for each cut as I'm sure that wouldn't occur to him!
Different occasion, I purchased two (identical) \$9.99 items at grocery store up the street. Had my \$20+1+1 (cash) in my hands in anticipation of the bill. Little girl announces \$40-something dollars and looks to me for payment.
I smile and bring my hand holding cash close to my chest (it's a routine I've developed over years of dealing with stupid clerks):
"What's wrong with this picture?" (smiling disarmingly) "Huh??" (clueless) "This is \$9.99" (motioning to first bottle) "let's call it \$10" "And this, too, is also \$9.99" (motioning to second bottle -- same stuff!) "so lets call it \$10, too! Ten plus ten... ?" (motioning to the \$40 total displayed on the register) "Yeah?" (still clueless) "(sigh) Just ring it up again, please..."
Now, of course, SHE is annoyed because I'm making her do something she's already done (and we all know how hard ringing up two items can be!)
The issue in each case is how the two individuals had no "feel" for the numbers. I.e., seeing two items that were "about \$10 each" should, in my mind, have caused the second cashier to be puzzled when the machine told her \$40 -- instead of just parroting the display and asking me for \$40.
I can understand the first kid being overzealous and putting marks at 10, 20, 30, 40 ... 90 inches along the 8 ft plywood sheet and, in doing so, leaving me with 9-7/8 wide strips. Or, a 10" strip followed by a bunch of 9-7/8 strips (depending on which side of his mark he cuts). I can understand him forgetting that the blade takes material away and failing to allow for that -- having *knowledge* that the customer might not!
But, I can't understand him being unable to use a ruler!
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On Mon, 21 Dec 2015 06:07:23 -0700, Don Y

They probably had two or three customers cut off their fingers, so they stopped the self service.

Definitely a problem.
Maybe he could have used the ruler app.
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Don Y wrote:

One of the first things new (no experience) guys in the cabinet shop got was a "big inch" , a piece of paper with an inch expanded to 8" and the 8ths , quarters etc drawn in . A good proportion couldn't relate that to the "regular inch" on their tape measure ... I had a helper (when I was doing insurance repairs for a contractor) that I had writing measurements down as I called them out . One of the measurements read "31 inches and 25 cents" ...
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Snag

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On 12/21/2015 7:25 AM, Terry Coombs wrote:

Ha! Same sort of guy who'd read a bible citation as "John, about a quarter past two..."
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Don Y posted for all of us...

A tape rule is not a ruler.
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Tekkie

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wrote:

Around 1975 I worked for the federal office of workers compensation in NYC. (Most of the injured employees were postal workers, because most federal employees coverred were postal employees)
Some were on permanent disability and once in a while cost of living increases had to be figured for their benfits. All 12 of us stopped what we were doing to figure them out. We each had a caluculator, but two of us had programmable calculators, each with an instruction manual. One used 2" wide cardboard strips, with holes that could be punched. I think i got that one. We also had worksheets that had to be filled out, one for each person on disabilty, in which we wrote down the original amont, the 3% increase, the sum. It was so frustrating to do that by hand when I had in front of me a programmable calculator, but when iirc I called it to his attention, he said to continue as I was.
I stayed in at lunch, reading the manual but an hour wasn't enough. I stayed late, even though no one stayed late, and read the manual and started punching holes (they had a stack of strips). Finally I came in on Saturday, even though afaik there was no procedure for coming in on Saturday, and I didn't expect to get paid for any of this overtime, but I didn't like being frustrated.
You could make long programs by using more than one strip in a row. And if you made an error, you could edit the program with scissors, cutting off the strip just before the bad instruction. One time I cut the strip so short, I put it in the slot and it didn't come out the other end!! I was scared, because I wasn't supposed to be there anyhow. This was in the tall office building built where the camera used to be for New Years Eve in Times Square, 45 and Broadway. I went down to the street and they had a drugstore at ground level. The drugstore sold philips screwdrivers. Whew. I went back and took the cover off the calculator, still afraid the janitor would see me and I'd never be able to convince anyone I knew what I was doing (since of course I'd never seen a programmable calculator before.)
Anyhow, it only took me an hour or two longer, and I was ready for Monday morning. I showed it to the boss, but he didnt' take my word. He had someone calculate several of them the old way while I ran the programmable calculator (which also printed the work sheet strip, enough to fulfill that requirement.) After 5 or more of these, he took everyone off calculating duty except one person with the good calculator. He couldn't do the work of 12, but he could do the work of 3 or 4, and we'd be done in time.
The other calculator used magnetic strips, about the same size as the paper, but the code was invisible, and the manual was harder to understand. Impossible without the manual. Oh yeah, it had storage areas, and you couldn't just say X * 1.Y% = answer. You could only move and add, no mulitiplying. But it would also print a paper strip and I think I got that working in a couple hours.
What's really bad is that I had surgery and recuperation and didnt' get back there adn didnt' train anyone else to do what I'd done, or even leave notes, or return to that job. The next time the % increase was likely different, and I'm not sure they could figure it out.
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On 12/20/2015 4:36 PM, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moc wrote:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's hysterical!

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Maggie

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On Sun, 20 Dec 2015 21:19:17 -0800 (PST), Uncle Monster

You can ask that question again after president Dummy Trump gets elected.
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Oren posted for all of us...

I think he should shoot to the top. Customer relations or district manager. That way he would be in contact with more customers whom would mutter "asshole" to themselves when leaving. Spread the goodness.
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Tekkie

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